Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert doesn't speak publicly often, so when he does, it's usually newsworthy - even though Colbert is often very guarded with what he says.
Today was no different.
Colbert addressed the media today in Indianapolis at the combine and did his usual dance of saying a lot while really not tipping his hand too much. It's truly an art form.
What he did say, however, was that he and head coach Mike Tomlin have their finger on the pulse of the team's locker room and he really doesn't see a fracture there as some players have suggested after linebacker LaMarr Woodley was ripped by an anonymous player earlier this week in a story in the Post-Gazette.
Was their some "me first" stuff in the locker room this year? Certainly.
But really, that wasn't any different than any other year. People have been quick to rip Mike Wallace for that perceived attitude forget that Hines Ward once held out as well.
And Ward was also a player who got upset when he didn't get the ball as much as he thought he should - though he handled it a different way, making veiled comments in the media.
Who could forget all of the Roethlisberger and Ward don't like each other stuff? True or not, they coexisted because both men knew they needed the other.
* Colbert also said that the Steelers haven't opened any negotiations with players on contract restructures or extensions, but will do so once they return from Indianapolis.
The Steelers are about $14 million over the 2013 cap and must be under it by March 12.
Picking up that $14 million won't be as difficult as some have said.
The Steelers can extend some key veterans - Ben Roethlisberger, Heath Miller and even Ryan Clark - and restructure some others such as Antonio Brown, Woodley and Lawrence Timmons to clear space.
Colbert did mention Woodley by name - especially after he was ripped anonymously earlier this week by a teammate - as a player the Steelers would have no problem restructuring or extending. They feel Woodley will bounce back after an injury-plagued last season and a half.
There is some evidence to back that up. Woodley was a beast in training camp last season, so much so that head coach Mike Tomlin was using him as the measuring stick for the tight ends on backers vs. tight ends drills.
Woodley manhandled all of the team's tight ends.
But with James Harrison out early, opponents were able to focus their blocking schemes on Woodley. And by the time Harrison returned, Woodley was dealing with ankle and hamstring issues.
Dale Lolley at 6:39 PM
Thanks for your post LatrobePA. The media laps up this Woodley stuff like my kitty cat does with milk. It's all good. Time will heal his ankle, and he will school many a player when he gets back on the field. I am here to tell you now that Woodley will have a monster season this year! Is "hope" clouding my judgment a little? Perhaps it is... but I think he's gonna show leadership this year.... leadership by way of accomplishment.
Nice post, thanks for sharing. Hopefully Woodley will bounce back.
Sure thing! I love this guys blog!
More from NFL.com
Kevin Colbert: Pittsburgh Steelers aren't in transition
By Gregg Rosenthal
Published: February 21, 2013 at 7:36 AM PST
Modified: February 21, 2013 at 9:48 AM PST
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Pittsburgh Steelers have been forced to cut veteran players for salary-cap reasons before. The way general manager Kevin Colbert views things, this is nothing new for them.
Despite public perception, Colbert said the Steelers are not a team in transition. He believes the transition term implies the team isn't a Super Bowl contender.
"We never think that," Colbert said Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine .
Around the League caught up with Colbert after his podium session and got his take on the state of the Steelers . Colbert's offseason assessment included the uncertain future of linebacker James Harrison .
1. The Steelers haven't had any discussions at this stage with Harrison's agents about his future. That will happen after the combine.
"Whether a player is part of your future or not, that's not going to take away from what he accomplished," Colbert said. "You'll never underestimate what that player did for you in the past, but this is about what you're going to be in 2013. If a player can help us, then we'll make those decisions accordingly."
Colbert has made unemotional decisions about cutting big-name players before. It's hard to imagine Harrison returning at his same salary.
2. If Harrison is let go, it's clear who the Steelers see replacing him.
"Jason Worilds did a nice job when he was called upon last year," Colbert said. "Can he continue that? We hope. ... In Jason's case, he's shown he can be productive."
Perhaps I'm reading too much into things, but those quotes above don't sound like the Steelers are desperate to hold on to Harrison.
3. Colbert said surrendering points off turnovers on both sides of the ball were the Steelers ' biggest problem in 2012. He said seven of the team's eight losses were a result of opponents scoring off turnovers.
4. Regarding quarterback Ben Roethlisberger 's changes under offensive coordinator Todd Haley , Colbert noted that the offense played very well in the first eight games of the season.
"There were spurts where he played as good as he's played in his career. ... He was frustrated with his second half," Colbert said.
Hard to disagree. Roethlisberger played very well early in the season; we thought he was an early MVP candidate. Roethlisberger's rib injury against the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 12 stands as a line of demarcation here, but Colbert noted Big Ben still struggled in that game before getting hurt.
Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal .
I don't know about anyone else, but this is terrifying to me. Ya, he's shown he can be productive when left completely unblocked. I pray to god they don't honestly believe he's the answer.
Originally Posted by LatrobePA
I'm scared we have no answer.. That's my worse fear at this point and this team needs an edge rusher like the old James...
I honestly think we'll get one more year with Harrison. They'll find a way because the depth is too thin. The arrangement will be mutually beneficial, I'm sure.
I'll never forget how in 2010 Woodley got a sack and tried to do a "jump-in side kick", when his feet cqme back down, he walked ot the huddle liked he tore a hammy or ligament. He came out after the next play or two.
He missed several games, but when he came back he was still hobbled.
Last year he was playing good until he got a sack, then he started to run away from the QB and do his karate kick, I screamed "don't do that"! at the TV, but too late.
He tweaked his hammy again and left the game.
I never saw a story about it in the news, but I got it on tape. You can see he hobbles himself when he does that flying sidekick.
2 years in a row he took himself out the game for weeks simply because he likes to celebrate a sack with a sidekick.
You're an idiot. Woodley had missed ONE game in his career before pulling his hamstring in 2011, and it was in 08. His sack celebration had nothing to do with his hamstring pull in 2011 either. It happened when he was running down Tom Brady for what looked like was going to be his 3rd sack of the game. During pursuit, he pulled his hammy, pulled up and was unfortunately unable to get there.
Originally Posted by weakdraft
I swear it's like you sit there and say "hmmm... What can I lost that'll make me sound dumber to everyone than I already do? I got it!!!"